Skift Take

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at David Beckham playing for Qatar, hotel exec’s optimism, and tourism “quality” over quantity.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Monday, August 29. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Corporate executives have expressed concerns in recent weeks about the impact of inflation and a possible recession on the U.S. economy. But Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill reports that prominent hotel CEOs are cautiously optimistic the industry will continue to make progress in its recovery.

O’Neill cites Hyatt as one company with high hopes for the rest of 2022. The Chicago-based company’s group bookings for August through December are only 7 percent below 2019 levels. Although business demand still hasn’t recovered to pre-pandemic levels, O’Neill adds Hyatt remains upbeat. Company executives said they haven’t seen a drop in all-inclusive resort bookings at its Apple Leisure Group business, with a quarter of its business for next year’s early months already on the books.

We go to Qatar next. The host of soccer’s World Cup this year is turning to one of the sport’s biggest names to promote it as a stopover destination. The Gulf State is featuring British football icon David Beckham in its new tourism campaign, reports Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia.

The campaign features Beckham participating in activities such as camping and exploring Doha on a motorbike during a 48-hour stay in the country. Bhutia writes that Qatar Tourism aims to convince millions of travelers arriving in Qatar in transit to take a stopover break. The country welcomed a little more than 2 million visitors in 2019 while it saw roughly 40 million in-transit travelers that year. Qatar expects to attract 1.5 million tourists for the World Cup in November and December.

Finally, destinations worldwide have largely focused in the past on attracting as many visitors as possible. But Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam writes more destinations are focusing on luring what they consider higher quality tourists instead of simply increasing visitation numbers.

In addition to these travelers possessing higher incomes, destinations are emphasizing quality in prospective visitors because they believe those travelers are more likely to stay longer and be cognizant of sustainability issues. G Adventures’ Vice President of Product Yves Marceau cited Hawaii, Uganda and Bhutan as destinations adopting such a strategy. However, Habtemariam notes others are taking a wait and see approach to see how successful it is.


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Tags: football, g adventures, qatar, skift podcast, sports, sports tourism

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